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EAA Canada Aviation Education Fund Awards Two Scholarships

By John Mader, EAA 581314, Acting Chair and Treasurer, EAA Canada

March 1, 2022 – In 2021, the EAA Canada Aviation Education Fund held a Canada-wide scholarship competition for young pilots already holding a private pilot licence, to help them in furthering their aviation careers.

Two $3,000 scholarships were offered:

  • The Jean Dueck Scholarship, arising out of a fund started by EAA Chapter 1410 in High River, Alberta, in honour of Jean, a pilot and aircraft builder, who was passionate about encouraging young women to pursue aviation careers. This award was open to women only.
  • The EAA Canada Award, with the same eligibility requirements, but open to any gender.

Thirty-eight applications were received from applicants in every province from New Brunswick to British Columbia.

Applications from eligible candidates were assessed by the scholarship review committee on the basis of academic and flying ability, demonstrated leadership, demonstrated interest in pursuing an aviation career, and financial need.

Two accomplished young women were selected as the winners. Larissa Chiu of Vancouver was awarded the Jean Dueck Scholarship, and Alivia Chanyi of Tillsonburg, Ontario, was the winner of the EAA Canada Award.

EAA Canada Award Winner – Alivia Chanyi of Tillsonburg, Ontario | EAA

EAA Canada Award Winner – Alivia Chanyi of Tillsonburg, Ontario

Alivia says she has been fascinated with airplanes since she was a child. At the age of 15, a front seat sightseeing ride with a chance to operate the controls got her hooked on flying. She obtained her private pilot licence in August 2020, a challenge due to COVID closures and her need to get it done so she could start the Conestoga College aviation program two weeks later. Alivia plans to obtain her commercial pilot licence, followed by her multi-engine and instrument ratings. She would then like to become a flight instructor and work her way towards an airline transport pilot licence. She wants to be a role model for other young women who may not have thought a career as a pilot could be open to them.

Besides having achieved excellent academic and flight test marks, Alivia was very active in high school athletics, winning the Female Athlete of the Year Award. She has volunteered in teaching young athletes to skate and assisting individuals with disabilities in sports. She was selected and trained as a summer camp counsellor for special needs children. Alivia is a member of several women in aviation organizations, such as the Ninety-Nines, Women in Aviation International, and the Waterloo Winged Warriors. Alivia is both a mentor and a mentee with the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.

Alivia was presented with her award by EAA Canada Director Kathy Lubitz, EAA 640605, at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre on September 10, 2021.

Jean Dueck Award Winner – Larissa Chiu, of Vancouver BC

Larissa Chiu obtained her glider pilot licence and her private pilot licence through the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program, and since then has been very active with the program, not only towing gliders in a Cessna 182 as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve, but also acting as her squadron’s chief ground school instructor and flight operations officer.

While obtaining a BSc (Honours) in cellular, anatomical, and physiological sciences at the University of British Columbia, Larissa was also president of the UBC Aviation Club. In this role she organized seminars, tours, and fly-in events. In 2018 she served as chair for the Waypoint Aviation Connections Conference, a large student-led Western Canadian aviation networking event. She is also a member of the BC Coast Ninety-Nines, where she initiated an online platform to list scholarship opportunities for young pilots like herself. As a result of all of her activities to promote women in aviation, Larissa was awarded the Rising Star Award by the Northern Lights Aero Foundation in 2018.

Larissa completed her instrument rating last September, just before heading east to McGill University in Montreal, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in neuroscience. With all the restrictions and risks associated with the fourth wave last fall, this made the presentation of the Jean Dueck Award difficult. However, EAA Canada was finally able to catch up with Larissa in Vancouver in January to make the presentation. Shown above is John Mader, treasurer and acting chair, presenting to Larissa at Sea Land Air Flight Training Centre (CZBB) in Boundary Bay, Vancouver. Jack Dueck, Jean's widower, had planned to make the award in person, but was grounded at the last moment due to a close COVID contact. However, technology came to the rescue and Jack was able to make the presentation via Zoom.

Congratulations to both of our winners!

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